For Blue Ridge Builder's Supply’s (BRBS) 30th anniversary, the locally-owned building supply and home center wanted to up their digital game and connect with customers through online videos.
Luckily their agency of record knows a thing or two about video production. Together with BRBS's product experts and marketing coordinator, we planned, storyboarded, filmed, and produced a series of fun and informative DIY videos to show BRBS's "real people, real service" motto in action.
Tell, don't sell
Don't let the name fool you. Blue Ridge Builder's Supply is far more than a contractor's supply store. The store's two locations--one in Crozet and one in Charlottesville--both are home centers with brand name windows, flooring, decking, window treatments, paint and interior design services. The Crozet location also functions as a traditional hardware store, offering everything from drills to duct tape.
That's a lot of content to cover. The DIY videos needed to feature key products and provide expert advice to DIYers, without alienating contractors. They also had to promote products--videos are a marketing tool after all--without a direct, off-putting sales pitch. To walk this fine line between teaching and selling, the videos had to offer both value and entertainment. The videos take the principle of "real service" to heart, providing expert tips and actionable steps to empower DIYers to confidently tackle the project.
Differentiate from competitors
Another challenge: how to differentiate BRBS from competitors big-box competitors. These stores fall short where BRBS shines: personal service, expert advice, and top-of-the-line products, served up in a locally-owned, community-oriented package. That's where "real people" comes in; by putting a friendly, local touch to the project, BRBS creates an emotional connection to customers and builds loyalty.
Honor thy audience
The Ivy Group lives by an "audience first" approach to content marketing; before anything else happens, we start by defining the target audience to ensure topic, language, and tone align with what we know about the audience. Our team worked with BRBS to brainstorm video topics that not only resonate with the target audience but also align with national brand promotions, seasonal trends, and internal sales goals.
Stick to your strengths
With the video topics in hand, we then interviewed BRBS experts for the talking points and mocked up a storyboard. Using the storyboard as a visual to-do list, we filmed each video on-site with our content team working hand-in-hand with BRBS to capture the technical know-how in a creative light. Each partner brought something to the table: BRBS provided the knowledge and materials and we contributed the creative direction and production tools to bring the project to life.
Make it sparkle
Post-production of the raw footage took place in our in-house production studio, outfitted with the latest editing software. The Production Engineer composed custom music to energize and audibly brand the videos. On-screen, step-by-step title cards outline key information for viewers watching without sound.
The result is a series of DIY videos that appeal to a variety of target audiences and skill levels, from experienced DIY-ers looking for trends and project inspiration to first-time homeowners who need help with basic updates. The videos feature products customers can depend on, highlight company values, teach valuable skills, and, in true Blue Ridge style, have a little fun.
“The DIY videos have been a great asset to BRBS' advertising. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback, from both customers and fellow employees. The videos provide valuable social media and website content, and the best part about them is that they are recyclable. We can continuously promote the videos; they are an investment that continues to deliver over time. I would highly recommend it for any business!”
Jordan Logan, BRBS Marketing Coordinator
Milk the content for all its worth
The fun doesn't end with the videos. To engage customers on multiple channels and position BRBS as trendy, knowledgeable, and service-focused, the videos are transformed into blogs, social media posts, and in-store signage. Blue Ridge Builder's Supply's in-house Marketing Coordinator uses the video to write a step-by-step instructional blog and social media posts; she also uploads the videos to screens within the store. She sure knows how to get the most out of content marketing!
Teach a (wo)man to fish
In every solid partnership, there's some give and take. We knew from the beginning of this project that our job was not just to deliver a quality product but also to train BRBS's team how to create the content themselves. Throughout the planning and filming process, we trained BRBS on the strategy and technicalities of creating a video series so that we could eventually leave planning and filming in their capable hands. The video production will continue to fall on our to do list--our Production Engineer is irreplaceable, after all--but with hands-on training and a best practices guide in hand, BRBS is positioned for video marketing success.
“Working with Ivy Group has been a blast. They are all about making these projects fun but functional, and are very professional. From planning, to staging, to filming, they've shown me how important each step of the video-making process is and have given me confidence that I can soon do it myself.”
Jordan Logan, BRBS Marketing Coordinator
As the agency of record for BRBS, our job is never done. We continue to manage BRBS' advertising campaigns, produce creative, and consult on everything from digital advertising to circular content.